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Flyers brimming with confidence after Game 5 win

by Adam Kimelman
VOORHEES, N.J. -- The Flyers still trail the Penguins 3-2 in their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series. But to listen to folks in the Philadelphia locker room, you would think they were in the driver's seat.

"It's pretty amazing," forward Danny Briere told following Friday's media availability. "Even (Thursday), going and getting ready for the game -- it's weird, we're down 3-1 but it doesn't feel that way."

That's because of what the Flyers have been able to do since the middle of Game 2 of this series. Discounting the penalty-filled 4-1 loss in Game 1, the Flyers have had the better of the play. They've outscored the Penguins in the last four games 12-9, and except for three poorly timed penalties late in Game 2, they could be the ones ready to close out this series.

"After Game 1, where we didn't really play well at all, we made some changes and guys really grabbed it and went for it and that really made a difference," said goaltender Martin Biron.

"In our room we feel like we're getting stronger," said forward Mike Knuble. "After that first game and halfway though the second we've been a different team and progressively getting better. The good thing is time didn't run out on us. Sometimes your team gets better but your series runs out. We still feel like we have a ways to go, we still feel like we can get better as a team. Everything that's happening to us is positive. That helps the locker room, helps the momentum, helps you climb back into a series."

It also helps when your goalie delivers a 28-save shutout, like Biron did in Game 5 to keep the series alive and force a Game 6 in Philadelphia Saturday (3 p.m. ET, NBC, CBC, RDS). With a sunny, 87-degree day predicted, the always rowdy crowds that pack the Wachovia Center should be in a great mood.

"We expect it to be an absolute madhouse (Saturday)," said Knuble. "I've been here four years and this will be the most exciting game I've played here. All of us are looking forward to it."

The players all talked about being able to draw off the energy of the home crowd.

"They're loud and obnoxious in a good way for us," said Knuble. "When you're the home team it's a great obnoxiousness. The weather is going to be good, people are going to be tailgating and they're going to be in the mood to watch a hockey game."

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